Singtel’s investment subsidiary shelled out IDR500 billion ($34.9 million) on a 16.26 per cent interest in Bank Fama International, as the operator moved to explore digital banking opportunities in Indonesia.

The operator’s Singtel Alpha Investments unit acquired 2.4 billion new shares in Bank Fama International, which is majority owned by Indonesian conglomerate Emtek Group.

Taxi-booking platform Grab also invested.

Singtel explained in a stock exchange filing Indonesia has the largest unbanked and underbanked population in ASEAN, adding the investors “bring significant capabilities and insights” to develop the digital banking service and drive financial inclusion.

The company stated the investment is part of a strategic reset unveiled in May 2021 to build new digital businesses across Asia.

Singtel and Grab operate a digital banking joint venture in Singapore.